Not without a mooring
The promise of Cheetah Gym has been broken, and [Update: Cheetah Gym is on again! (See One step backwards, two steps forward on Milwaukee Avenue.)] Milwaukee Avenue is drifting (see Without an
anchor), but this stretch of Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square is not without a mooring to make fast an anchor.
The former Grace’s Furniture store at the south end of this stretch is back on the market (rental, at least) (photo, right).
And on the north end of the stretch, the group of buildings on the west side of Milwaukee Avenue that are part of the Chicago Milwaukee-Diversey- Kimball Landmark District, all have vacancies above the first floor (and some on the first floor as well).
What if on Milwaukee Avenue…
- There was a center for a non-traditional — or maybe a retro traditional — art or craft like woodworking, weaving (and spinning and knitting, etc.), dressmaking (the City of Chicago is pushing the fashion envelope), or paper arts (making, design and printing, origami, etc.) in the Grace’s Furniture building? Artists could sell their wares and also work on site so that others can watch them at work like the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia?
Grace’s Furniture building –
2616-18 Milwaukee Ave.
- There was a center for related uses like music (instruction, instruments, instrument making) or literary endeavors (see New York Times’“With Books as a Catalyst Minneapolis Neighborhood Revives“) or complementary uses like graphic design and videography?
- There was a place like Peoria NEXT to incubate the entrepreneurs in engineering or science that graduate from the many Chicago universities? Wouldn’t it be nice if Logan Square got a share of State of Illinois economic development funds?
- There was a retail incubator for mom and pop shops to learn the myriad things there are to know about starting a new business (see “Oxford Co. creates a downtown Ann Arbor retail incubator“)? Successful graduates could eventually lease storefronts on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square.
Milwaukee-Diversey-Kimball Landmark District
- The Milwaukee-Diversey-Kimball Landmark District buildings were renovated with state of the art green technology and the floors above street level were converted to office use? The buildings could offer tours of their successful green renovation and would complement the Green Exchange further east on Diversey Avenue.
- The beautiful building at the southwest corner of Milwaukee and Diversey Avenues that now houses the Gap Outlet was converted for City or State government offices? That building once housed a Goldblatt’s department store as did the City’s Goldblatt’s Office Building in the East Village neighborhood and the DePaul Center in the Loop that also houses City offices present day.
A conversation starter: What else? Can’t think of anything? Put your (twisted) thinking cap on with the innovation exercise at Speak up and tell us.